“We acknowledge the excellent work done by government in working through the voluminous applications in a timely and transparent manner,” said Johan van den Berg, chief executive of SA Wind Energy Association.
The department received 79 bids in March for the second window of the energy plan, 51 of which met the criteria given in the request for proposals.
These bids amounted to 3255 megawatts of power generation.
Seven wind projects, with a combined allocation of 562.5 megawatts, were selected from the preferred bidders out of the 650 megawatts allocated for “Window Two”.
“Wind power is becoming an important new infrastructure industry in the country. The procurement of wind power is maturing and the rules are becoming clearer and better understood,” said Van den Berg.
Eight wind energy projects were announced during the first window at the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which was held in Durban last year.
Construction of the first wind farms in relation to the first window is set to commence after the end of June.
“The wind industry in South Africa will see exponential growth in the next 12 months, with the Window One projects set to turn soil very soon,” said Van den Berg.
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters told reporters on Monday the government wanted to use the renewable energy independent power producers’ programme to boost job creation.
“With significant numbers of the population currently unemployed, the government sees this procurement programme as an opportunity to grow the economy,” she said in Pretoria.
“We would want to maximise economic development wherever the projects are located.”
The independent power producers programme is expected to attract project proposals valued at around R100 billion by the end of the final fifth window.
The procurement of alternative energy sources from the private sector was motivated by “the urgent need for new generation capacity” to alleviate the current energy constraints, the department said in a statement.